Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Magazine article Conscience

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

SEX IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER--WHETHER YOU ARE CATHOLIC or not. It is (or can be and certainly should be) a lot of fun. But it often makes the headlines for other reasons. This is especially the case when t it comes to the Vatican, which is only too willing to pontificate on sex and sexuality, painting them in a negative light at every opportunity. In this issue, we seek to examine why the Vatican is so caught up on sex and how Catholics deal with it. Given the recent coverage, we should note that the clerical sex abuse scandal is one sex-related subject about which the Vatican is notoriously reticent. If you haven't read it already, Eamonn McCann's article in our last issue, "A Catholic Archipelago of Evil," is a must read.

In our lead article, Jon O'Brien and Sara Morello examine how bishops around the world intervene in political battles over reproductive health and rights, and the impact that has, especially on poor people. While that story might sound depressing--and parts of it certainly are--we end on a positive note, explaining how the vast majority of Catholics successfully reconcile their faith with healthy sex lives, despite the dictates of the Vatican.

As part of our investigation, we asked Catholic theologian Dan Maguire to reflect on why the Catholic hierarchy is so obsessed with sex. His answer may surprise many of you, but he did provide us with a solution: education. We need our bishops to be educated so that, he argues, they can distinguish between Catholic theology, which takes into account people's lived experiences, and Vatican theology, which is more rigid and can be harmful to so many. …

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